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The European Parliament’s decision not to immediately pass the new EU Copyright Directive in July was seen by many as a major setback. It was defeated by 318 to 278, a margin of 40 votes. This means the proposed legislation now moves forward to a full plenary debate and vote next Wednesday 12 September.

As the music industry faces this pivotal moment, it is worth reflecting how we got here and what we are now facing.

The creative industries as a whole have long argued that embryonic digital legislation passed in the mid 1990s is outdated and simply not fit for purpose. The legislative process is slow at the best of times. Meanwhile, the tech industry “moved fast and broke things,” incurring the wrath of creators whose livelihoods have been upended as a result.

The publication of the draft EU Copyright Directive in late 2016 was an achievement in itself. Not only did the draft legislation address copyright protection and safe harbour loopholes, it also contained provisions concerning fairness and transparency towards creators. Following further debate and lobbying, is even more of an achievement that the key elements of the draft directive remain mostly intact.

The Directive has not been without it’s critics, as is the case with any proposed legislation. Academics, libraries and dignitaries such as Sir Tim Berners-Lee have all put forth concerns. We in the music industry can acknowledge some concerns as understandable even if we believe they are unfounded.

What is not understandable are the thoroughly vile and dishonest tactics deployed during the course of this year, whose objective is to stop the legislation in its tracks at any cost. The scale of this activity reads like set pieces straight out of the Cambridge Analytica playbook.

Some in the music industry have questioned how we fight back given the vast funding involved and the sheer scale of this enterprise. But fight back we must and the actions of those we face only serve to give us greater strength.

As any Jiu-Jitsu grandmaster will tell you: use your opponents’ force against them. In this case, we should call out the deceitful actions from within the tech sector and elsewhere and those actions speak louder than any words.

  • The Financial Times reported some MEPs received death threats

  • MEPs were each bombarded with over 60,000 emails from bots

  • These emails contained identical content according to The Trichordist

  • The same blog named the domain name from which a large number of these emails originated and its link to a US Inc. entity.

  • The same tactics have been found on Twitter: multiple bot accounts promoting #SaveOurInternet and similar hashtags

  • This contrasts to real world protests that only drew a few hundred protestors combined across Europe. The bots did not show up.

 

These actions must also be viewed against the current backdrop where tech firms have been scrutinised for avoiding responsibility concerning:

  • Blatantly dishonest content

  • Content that incites hatred and violence

  • Little accountability in how such content is disseminated

  • Minimal transparency in how user data is abused in facilitating all this

Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey are amongst those tech executives rebuked by lawmakers on both sides of the Atlantic, for failing to take responsibility and failing to act in managing their own platforms. This is reflective of a broader failure that lies at the heart of a misguided and libertarian ideal, that somehow tech firms are exempt from laws and rules that govern the rest of the world.

The music industry and broader creative and media industries are made up of real people, filled with passion and blood pumping through their veins. They compose their own emails, speak to politicians and show up in person.

At the UK Music organized #LoveMusic busking event in London earlier today, artists, executives and even politicians turned out in support. Artists such as Brett Anderson, Ed Harcourt, Dave Rowntree, Madeleina Kay, Newton Faulkner and BASCA Chair Crispin Hunt. In addition a number of cross party British MPs who support the directive including Tom Watson, Nigel Evans and Kevin Brennan were amongst those in attendance.

One has to ask, if those opposing the EU Copyright Directive have such a compelling argument, why do they resort to such deceitful means? If we judge their actions, the arguments of those opposed to the directive hold no legitimacy and the European Parliament should vote in favour of the directive.

Andy Edwards, music manager and consultant
@andyedwardsbiz

27 Jun 2019 | Press release

Warner Chappell Music signs Monique Lawz

Warner Chappell Music, the music publishing arm of Warner Music Group, has signed a worldwide deal with UK R&B and soul singer-songwriter Monique Lawz. Monique has been building a strong reputation in both the UK and the US, already securing a...more

27 Jun 2019 | Press release

Universal Music Publishing Group signs Idris Elba to global publishing deal

UMPG to sub-publish artists on Elba's record label, 7Wallace   Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG), a leading global publishing company, today announced that multitalented artist Idris Elba has been signed to an exclusive, worldwide publishing agreement. A true creative master, Elba is an accomplished musician, songwriter,...more

26 Jun 2019 | Press release

Nile Rodgers to be crowned Artists’ Artist at the 2019 Artist & Manager Awards

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26 Jun 2019 | Press release

Kobalt Signs Pop Singer-Songwriter Hayley Kiyoko

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26 Jun 2019 | Press release

Artists United; The Featured Artists Coalition celebrates 10 years

For a decade, the Featured Artists Coalition (FAC) has been fighting for equality, recognition, fairness and transparency for music makers. This week the FAC threw a mighty birthday celebration, showing that the only body run by artists, for artists, is...more

25 Jun 2019 | Press release

Pivotal Music Conference, Birmingham - Announces "Houses" and First Content for the Day

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25 Jun 2019 | Press release

Help Musicians’ 360-degree Do It Differently Fund supports more artists than ever in latest awardee announcement

57 musicians hailing from the breadth of the UK, performing an eclectic mix of genres, represent the diverse nature of DIY music   Help Musicians UK, the nearly 100-year-old independent charity, is incredibly proud to announce the second cohort of artists supported...more

25 Jun 2019 | Press release

Partisan Records Appoints Theresa Adebiyi as Creative Director

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24 Jun 2019 | Press release

BMG Production Music partners with Sounds of Red Bull

BMG Production Music (BMGPM) - the world’s fastest-growing production music company, servicing the film, broadcast, games and advertising industries - has announced its partnership with Red Bull Media House in a deal that will see BMGPM represent its Sounds of...more

24 Jun 2019 | Press release

Latest BPI ‘Wisdom Wednesdays’ event focuses on the music business career paths ‘less travelled’

July 10th panel includes representatives from Warner Music UK, Abbey Road, Lewis Silkin & Kobalt, exploring music careers beyond the traditional roles   UK record labels association the BPI has announced the fifth edition of its popular “Wisdom Wednesdays” event, which returns to Gibson Brands, 61-62...more

21 Jun 2019 | Press release

a-ha's Take On Me video approaches one billion views

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20 Jun 2019 | Press release

Iceland Airwaves announce 3rd wave of acts

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20 Jun 2019 | Press release

Wireless Festival and MelodyVR join forces for live Virtual Reality broadcast

MelodyVR launch brand new mobile app giving an unlimited number of music fans the chance to witness the festival in Virtual Reality via their phones   Wireless Festival, the leading event for urban music and hip hop is set to go global...more

20 Jun 2019 | Press release

Johnny Marr to Headline Inaugural AIM Awards Live Show & Receive Pioneer Award

BBC 6 Music’s Lauren Laverne to host Roundhouse-based ceremony Award submissions extended until 24th June Iconic guitarist and former Smiths member Johnny Marr is set to showcase his legendary talents as the headliner for AIM Independent Music Awards’ first ever live show. Before...more

20 Jun 2019 | Press release

UK Music throws Summer Party at Southbank Centre

Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright paid tribute to UK Music for a “fantastic year” supporting the music industry at our summer party.Speaking at the event attended by a host of senior politicians and music industry leaders at the Southbank Centre, Mr...more

19 Jun 2019 | Press release

Voisey attracts high profile investors ahead of planned US launch

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19 Jun 2019 | Press release

Deezer Launches lyric sharing on Instagram Stories

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19 Jun 2019 | Press release

The Kerrang! Awards

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18 Jun 2019 | Press release

Next deadline for Steve Reid Innovation Award announced

PRS Foundation and the Steve Reid Foundation today announce that the next deadline for theSTEVE REID INNOVATION AWARD is Thursday 8th August 2019. The initiative provides an opportunity for emerging artists that make outstanding music to receive support in the form of: a grant...more

18 Jun 2019 | Press release

Merlin reveals record revenue distributions in new 2019 Membership Report

Since opening for business, Merlin has paid in excess of $2bn to thousands of independent labels and distributors worldwide. While it took 9 years to distribute our first billion dollars, it has taken only 18 months to distribute our second...more

18 Jun 2019 | Press release

The Shires sign to BMG

UK country phenomenon The Shires have chosen BMG to release their next album. The duo’s first three albums not only garnered near universal critical acclaim, but all three reached the Top 10 Official UK Albums Chart, an unprecedented feat for...more

18 Jun 2019 | Press release

Important update to labels and suppliers on Record Store Day 2020

Ahead of April 2020, Record Store Day UK are making important changes to the submission timeline for labels and suppliers.As RSD approaches its 13th year the organisers have had to consider the most practical and efficient way of coordinating over...more

18 Jun 2019 | Press release

Charles Caldas to step down as Merlin CEO

Charles Caldas has announced that he will step down as CEO of Merlin at the end of 2019 after more than 12 years at the helm of the global digital rights agency. Continuing his current duties until then, Charles is working with the...more

17 Jun 2019 | Press release

Rumer signs to Cooking Vinyl for special Nashville album project

Having already added four artists to their roster earlier this year, Cooking Vinyl’s A&R team are continuing to make big moves, signing a deal with award-winning British singer-songwriter Rumer for a worldwide royalty deal. Dubbed the “heir to Dusty Springfield” by...more

17 Jun 2019 | Press release

KISS switch-up the schedule in time for Summer

KISS have today launched a refreshed daytime schedule, which sees some presenters move into new roles on the station. Alex and Andrea, who have previously teamed up to host ‘Live@KISS’ from 3-7pm on weekdays, now host their own individual shows. Andrea...more

14 Jun 2019 | Press release

Music and Millennials helping to fuel the podcasting boom

New BPI Insight Session report explores dynamics & trends shaping the popularity of podcasts   A new report produced for record labels association the BPI highlights the scale of the current podcasting phenomenon and the extent to which this boom is being driven by...more

13 Jun 2019 | Press release

Jaxsta launches public beta of its pioneering music database

PLATFORM CONTAINS MORE THAN 100 MILLION MUSIC CREDITS ACROSS 25 MILLION WEBPAGES   Jaxsta Limited (ASX: JXT) has launched an open beta of its groundbreaking music database platform (www.jaxsta.com).    Founded in 2015 by Jacqui Louez Schoorl and Louis Schoorl, Jaxsta is positioned to...more

13 Jun 2019 | Press release

Concord expands classical and European interests by acquiring Sikorski Music Publishing

Sikorski Music Publishing will be combined with Concord Music Publishing's venerable Boosey & Hawkes division, bringing together two giants of Russian classical copyrights Concord is pleased to announce the acquisition of the esteemed classical music publisher, The Sikorski Music Publishing Group,...more

12 Jun 2019 | Press release

Hipgnosis acquires Sam Hollander catalogue

Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited (“Hipgnosis” or the “Company”) Acquisition of Music Catalogue The Board of Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited and its Investment Adviser, The Family (Music) Limited, are pleased to announce that the Company has acquired a music catalogue from Sam Hollander,...more

12 Jun 2019 | Press release

IMRO choose ICE

Irish collecting society appoint ICE for Online Licensing   ICE and IMRO, the Irish Music Rights Organisation, are delighted to announce IMRO has become a direct customer of ICE’s Core Licence. Under the terms of the new agreement, ICE will provide a...more

27 Jun 2019

  • Speculation Vivendi's part sale of UMG may be delayed; plus US may block deal. Post-fire artist outreach plan announced. (see Business, News)

26 Jun 2019

  • 700 additional artists who lost recordings in the Universal Studios fire named. (see News)

25 Jun 2019

  • Hipgnosis reports first annual results. (see Business)

  • Universal Music's 'quiet revolution' to neurodiversity. (see Features)

  • Apple may earn as little as £1m per year from Spotify via 'app tax'. (see Digital)

  • Warner Music UK reports strong profit increase. (see Business)

24 Jun 2019

  • Universal Music Group sued over the fire that destroyed archived recordings. (see News)

  • Spotify wants money back from 'overpayment' to songwriters and publishers. (see News)

21 Jun 2019

  • Industry aims to combat streaming manipulation. (see News)

20 Jun 2019

  • Vivendi in no rush for Universal Music Group sale. (see Business)

  • Wireless Festival to be broadcast live on MelodyVR mobile app. (see Digital)

19 Jun 2019

  • Charles Caldas to step down as CEO of Merlin. (see News)

  • Merlin reports record revenue distributions. (see News)

  • Spotify backs Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency. (see Digital)

18 Jun 2019

  • Physical: Sony proposes closure of distribution site, HMV set to close two city stores. (see Business)

  • Universal's archivist says fire damage 'surprisingly overstated'. (see News)

17 Jun 2019

  • Universal likely to face legal action over 2008 fire losses. (see News)

  • Summer European festival market reported as 'slow'. (see Analysis)

14 Jun 2019

  • Spotify rolls out redesigned app for Premium users - with an increased emphasis on podcasts. (see Digital)